Tropical storm Cristobal, the third named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Tropical Storm & Hurricane Season, has formed in the eastern Caribbean and weather models have converged on a track between the U.S. and Bermuda, so no major impact is expected.
Update 26th August – 04:50am EDT, 09:50am BST: As forecast this storm has now intensified into hurricane Cristobal, with category 1 sustained winds of around 75mph. The forecast continues to predict no threat to land and Cristobal is expected to head northwards between the U.S. and Bermuda before moving north east and becoming extra-tropical.
Update 11am EDT, 4pm BST: Tropical storm Cristobal has strengthened and the storm now has sustained winds of 60mph. Cristobal is expected to become a category 1 hurricane at some point before it curves further to the east.
The model consensus continues to show Cristobal missing the U.S. coastline and confidence among forecasters seems to be rising. However the NOAA highlight that Cristobal’s movement remains erratic and the high pressure in the Atlantic continues to squeeze the storm.
Confidence should continue to rise as the storm moves away from the Bahamas and gets picked up by the jet stream. The NOAA forecast track appears the most likely source for Cristobal at this time.
When tropical storm Cristobal formed the weather models diverged, with some showing a track into the Gulf, others projecting a U.S. east coast impact and more forecasting that Cristobal would recurve into the Atlantic, out of harms way. It seems the models which looked out to sea have been more accurate as the forecast path for Cristobal currently takes the storm away from the U.S.
There remains a small element of uncertainty, however, as the forecast suggests that the jet stream will pick the storm up and carry it into the Atlantic. At the same time a ridge of high pressure in the Atlantic is expected to squeeze Cristobal from the east and some forecasters still believe that tropical storm Cristobal’s track could be further west and nearer to the U.S. coastline than the NOAA path shows above. So that makes this a storm to watch for the next 24 hours or so as the track forecast is firmed up.
Tropical storm Cristobal is currently drenching the Bahamas and packing sustained winds of around 50mph, with a minimum central pressure of 996mb. The forecast calls for the storm to become hurricane Cristobal, just a category 1 hurricane, in the next 48 hours as it moves northwards, following which weakening is expected as the storm heads north and east.
The certainty in the forecast is much increased in the last 24 hours and the weather models all now show tropical storm Cristobal tracking out to sea. In the next 24 hours it will become apparent whether they are correct or not.
We will update this page should the forecast change dramatically and show Cristobal tracking any closer to the U.S., although at this time it does not seem like this will become necessary.
You can keep track on tropical storm Cristobal using our 2014 Atlantic Tropical Storm & Hurricane Season page.